Image copyright JOSEPH MORRISSE
By Seth Robson
Copyright Stars and Stripes
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Some might consider it a miracle that Harper Morrissey is alive.
Harper is only 4 months old, and it’s what happened more than a year before she was born that might seem out of the ordinary.
On Aug. 9, 2012, Harper’s father, Sgt. Joe Morrissey, was on a route-security mission in Zharay District, Afghanistan, when he was struck by enemy fire.
The rounds “felt like a sucker punch,” as they hit his body armor and knocked the wind out of him, said Morrissey, 26, of Port Charlotte, Fla.
But thanks to the ceramic plate inside his flak vest, Morrissey not only survived being shot, he was uninjured and able to return fire at the enemy.
The plate — with a hole big enough to fit your thumb in — stopped the 7.62 mm round.
And while some would call it miraculous, the researchers at the Project Executive Officer Soldier program say it’s just another day at the office. The PEO Soldier researchers have heard these stories thousands of times. In fact, there’s an entire division of the program that collects battle-damaged Kevlar helmets, ceramic plates, and other pieces of protective equipment to make sure it lives up to Army standards.